Poor People Catch Hell: The Injustice of Privatized Probation Services

Steve ran a stop sign. Deondre was drinking a beer on a friend’s porch. The police stopped Steve. The police stopped Deondre. The police told Steve it is illegal to run a stop sign. Steve said, “So what do we do now?” The police told Steve “now I give you a ticket.” The police told Deondre it is illegal to drink in public and they arrested him. Steve has a job and Steve paid his ticket. For 150 dollars, Steve’s story is over. Deondre was charged with public intoxication, a violation analogous to a traffic ticket.

Jefferson County Personnel Board Approves Contract With Company Accused of Imprisoning Citizens in Debt

This past Wednesday, Circuit Judge Hub Harrington released an Order regarding the tactics of Judicial Correction Services, a private company that provides probation services to Shelby County as a profit seeking venture.

Virginia Spidle Not on The JCPB Agenda as Promised

Today, (July 10, 2012) the Jefferson County Personnel Board met for the first time since the Circuit Court issued its decision in Virginia Spidle's favor, yet made no mention of the Board's promise to "immediately revisit" their decision after the Circuit Court ruling. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of Mrs. Spidle June 26, 2012. Earlier, the JCPB granted a stay of the "second termination" more than two months ago at the request of the City of Birmingham stating:

The City's Second Bite at Virginia Spidle

The City of Birmingham (Courtesy the City of Birmingham's Website)

While a three judge panel has upheld the board's decision to reverse Virginia Spidle's initial wrongful termination, the City continues to spend untold amounts of taxpayer dollars to maintain the farce that is her second termination. The City re-fired Virginia after the Jefferson County Personnel Board ordered her back to work. They also sought a stay for the second termination proceeding before a hearing officer. (My brief in opposition to the stay is here)

Virginia Spidle Wins, City of Birmingham is Ordered to Pay All Back Wages

A three judge panel from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County has upheld the JCPB Hearing Officer's recommendation that Virginia Spidle's termination be reversed. The same order also dissolved a stay that was keeping the City from paying her back wages. The full order is embedded within.

Prisons Are Overcrowded And Under Staffed

Attorney Gayle Gear was part of that process. She says the system can be dealt with without a breakdown, but it won't be easy. "Most citizens are not concerned with this matter. Each one of us has the responsibility to say to that warden or to say to that sheriff, "We are a civilized society. If we incarcerate we will provide the constitutional minimum," she says.

Watch the video after the jump.

Three Judge Panel Affirms JCPB Decision in Spidle Case, Orders Back Pay

The Birmingham New's Joseph Bryant has the story here.

Even though three judges say put her back to work and pay her, the city will resist. They are using taxpayer's money, not their money," Gear said. "Only they know what's powering the ill will, but money is no object."

Virginia Spidle's EEOC Complaint Covered By The Birmingham News

Joseph Bryant at the paper does a great job of keeping Birmingham informed about what is going on at city hall. Here is his article from February about Virginia Spidle's EEOC complaint against the city. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/02/birmingham_city_accountant_fir_1.html

Pages